Kenyon Martin

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Posted by kaori 02/28/2009 @ 20:01

Tags : kenyon martin, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
Howard picks up 5th technical - ESPN
Denver's Kenyon Martin has also been hit with five technicals this postseason, but his past three technicals were rescinded by the league, putting Martin officially at two. Two of Martin's technicals in Denver's second-round series with Dallas were...
Kenyon Martin's Late-Game Blunders Prove the Difference for Denver - Bleacher Report
I mean to take nothing away from the skill and career of Martin, both of which are spectacular. However, those final two minutes were full of mistakes that will leave Nuggets fans wondering what could have been. Let's take a little trip down memory...
Nuggets' Kenyon Martin has a broken finger on left hand - Los Angeles Times
Denver power forward Kenyon Martin, elevating for a rebound between Lakers guard Derek Fisher and power forward Pau Gasol in Game 1, has a broken finger on his left hand but is expected to play in Game 2 on Thursday night. Denver's starting forward is...
NBA notes: Magic getting through Cavs' 'D' - News-Herald.com
Being compared to Cleveland native Charles Oakley is quite a compliment for Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin. Martin said he learned from Oakley and is now one of the most rugged players in the NBA. "You watch what I'm doing to these young guys,...
Will Blake Griffin Be More Than Another Kenyon Martin? - Bleacher Report
Kings- Tyreke Evans(6'6 guard that can play the point but more useful as a shooting guard, could play point guard and give the Kings a very good backcourt to build around in Evans and Martin or if they like Beno at the point, they could use Evans as a...
Feud between K-Mart and Cuban continues - Rotoworld.com
The public feud continues between Kenyon Martin and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban -- K-Mart recently called Cuban a "coward" for apologizing via his blog, rather than face-to-face. Cuban responded in an email, asking whether K-Mart would take...
Cuban Posts Apology to Nuggets' Martin on Blog - New York Times
Lydia Moore, the mother of Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, was confronted by Mark Cuban after Game 3. Cuban had a heated exchange Saturday with the mother of Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin after the Nuggets' controversial 106-105 victory in Game 3...
How Mark Cuban Can Make Amends With Kenyon Martin - Bleacher Report
by David Xaviel (Scribe) The thought is that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban went and made a fool of himself by making a derogatory comment to Kenyon Martin's mother on Mother's Day. Cuban offered an apology in his blog, but Martin declined to accept...
Kenyon Martin: Expected to Play Thursday - Rotowire
Martin (finger) is expected to play on Thursday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals despite fracturing the ring finger on his left hand in Game 1, the Denver Post reports. The good news is the fracture wasn't on his shooting hand and he's...
Trina Poses For New Magazine Pictures; Denies Kobe Bryant Rumors - HipHopRX
In the magazine feature, Trina talks about her raunchy image and about being in love with her boyfriend, who for some time, Trina was rumored as dating, Denver Nuggets' baller Kenyon Martin. In related news, just recently, Trina denied having a...

Tim Thomas (basketball)

Timothy Mark "Tim" Thomas (born on February 26, 1977, in Paterson, New Jersey) is an American professional basketball player in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls.

A versatile 6'10" forward with a soft shooting touch, Thomas was tabbed as a future NBA star when he was still in high school, and was selected to the McDonald's All-American team after averaging 25.3 points and 14.5 rebounds per game as a senior at Paterson Catholic. Following his freshman year at Villanova University, he was drafted seventh overall by the New Jersey Nets in the 1997 NBA Draft and was immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the Sixers' draft pick (Keith Van Horn).

Thomas enjoyed a solid rookie season, averaging 11.0 points per game, and was named to the NBA's All-Rookie 2nd Team. The Sixers would grow impatient with a sophomore slump from Thomas, though, and in 1999 he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee was enamored with Thomas' raw talent and versatility, and hoped he could blossom into a star with more seasoning. It looked like things were coming together for Thomas during the 2000-01 season, when he averaged a career-high 13.4 ppg for the Bucks. On January 5, 2001, Thomas connected on eight three-point field goals in the second half of Milwaukee's 119-115 victory over Portland, a record for 3-pointers in a half he shares with current Buck Michael Redd. During his time with the Bucks, then-teammate Ray Allen was quoted as saying, "If he wanted to, Tim Thomas could be the best player in the league." This echoed similar sentiments from around the NBA that Thomas wasn't making the most of his considerable talents. Nevertheless, after a strong playoff performance that year, Thomas was rewarded with a large contract by owner Herb Kohl, a deal worth roughly $66 million over 6 years.The Bucks would end up regretting that decision when Thomas was unable to rediscover the spark he showed in 2001.

In 2004 he was traded for Van Horn again, this time to the New York Knicks. Thomas' 1st tour of duty with the Knicks was rather nondescript (his most notable incident: after a playoff game against the New Jersey Nets, he referred to Kenyon Martin as "fugazy"), and on the eve of training camp in 2005 he was traded to the Chicago Bulls (along with Michael Sweetney) in a package that brought Eddy Curry to New York.

Rather than dealing with Thomas' questionable conditioning habits & locker-room presence, Chicago chose to send him home for good in late 2005 and officially waived him in March 2006; he would finish that year with Phoenix.

After bouncing around from team to team, Thomas rejuvenated his career in the 2006 playoffs, playing alongside two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. On May 4, 2006, in game 6 of the first round of the Western Conference divisional playoffs, Thomas hit a crushing game-tying three pointer with 6 seconds left in regulation to spare the 2nd seeded Phoenix Suns from elimination against the 7th seeded Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns went on to win that game in the overtime period when Thomas hit another important three-pointer to force a game 7; a game which they won by 31 points to claim the series and complete the 3-1 series comeback. With the Suns, he became known as the one who helped knock both the Lakers and Clippers out of the playoffs, before the team eventually lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

After his brilliant playoff performance, Thomas signed a four-year, $24 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on July 13, 2006. He played solid (if unspectacular) basketball for the Clippers, but again failed to live up to his high playoff standards, and was subsequently traded to the New York Knicks again on November 21, 2008.

Upon arriving in New York again, Thomas was reunited with Mike D'Antoni, who coached the Suns in 2006.

On February 19, 2009, Tim was traded yet again to the Bulls along with center Jerome James and guard Anthony Roberson in exchange for guard Larry Hughes just before the trade deadline.

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University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati Seal

The University of Cincinnati is a coeducational public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio, part of the University System of Ohio. The 2007 rankings from The Center at Arizona State University place the University of Cincinnati as a "Public University Ranking in the Top 25 among Publics," tied for the 37th best public research university and 70th overall research university in the United States. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies UC as a Research University-Very High Research Activity. UC has an annual enrollment of approximately 35,000 students — thus making it one of the 100 largest universities in the U.S. It offers nearly 600 programs of study, ranging from 2-year Associate's Degrees to Doctoral and post-doctorate education. With an economic impact of over $3 billion per year, it is the largest single employer in Greater Cincinnati.

In 1819, Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio were founded in Cincinnati upon the suggestion and with the funds of local benefactors such as Dr. Daniel Drake who went before the Ohio Legislature in January 1819 and sought a charter for the Medical College of Ohio, the second medical school to be founded west of the Allegheny Mountains, and William Lytle of the Lytle family of Cincinnati.

In 1870, due to the estate of Charles McMicken, money was left to the City of Cincinnati to establish the University of Cincinnati, absorbing Cincinnati College. While the Medical College of Ohio was loosely affiliated with UC from about 1896, it joined with a splinter medical school, Miami Medical College, to form the Ohio-Miami Medical Department of the University of Cincinnati in 1909, several months prior to Abraham Flexner's visit. UC would again add another independent organization to its roster of colleges when it absorbed the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1962. UC became a "municipally-sponsored, state-affiliated" institution in 1968. During this time, UC was the second-oldest and second-largest municipal university in the country. It became one of Ohio's state universities in 1977.

UC is the originator of the co-operative education (co-op) model. The program generally consists of alternating periods of coursework on campus and outside work at a host firm, giving students over one year of relevant work experience by the time they graduate. The concept was invented at UC in 1906 by Herman Schneider, Dean of the College of Engineering at the time. Ranked third in the U.S., UC's Professional Practice (Co-op) Program is the largest co-op program at any public institution in the United States with nearly 5,000 participating students at over 2,000 companies in 43 countries.

UC is also the home of the Institute for Policy Research, a multidisciplinary research organization which opened in 1971. It performs a variety of surveys and polls on public opinion throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, primarily through telephone surveys.

The university has a large, diverse international student body, with approximately 2,500 students drawn from over 100 countries. The largest number of foreign students are from India and China with a significant number from France as well. Most international students study at the graduate level, although the university is now aggressively recruiting more talented students into undergraduate fields. To this end, UC is now creating a network of official representatives to assist interested students throughout the world.

A number of new international activities are positioning UC as a leading international innovator among US universities. UC is the first American university to benchmark its international student services, using an instrument known as the International Student Barometer (ISB). In the Fall 2006 survey, UC benchmarked with the highest overall international student satisfaction score among the 40 participating institutions.

UC is also among the first universities to pilot the new Standards for Education Abroad, created by the Forum for Education Abroad. UC recently initiated a strategy of "comprehensive engagement" with key foreign institutions. The first of these with which a formal agreement was signed was Shandong University, of Jinan, China. In addition to developing a range of activities across their many colleges, the two universities have agreed to create a Joint Center for Urban Research, with offices on both campuses. UC's new COSMIC database (Cincinnati Online System for Managing International Collaboration) provides a view of its international relationships.

The school's athletics teams are known as the "Bearcats" and, since July 1, 2005, they have been members of the Big East Conference. They were previously members of Conference USA, a conference of which they were a founding member.

The university's most well-known rivalries are with the University of Louisville and Xavier University. UC is known for its rich tradition in basketball and now in football, under new coach Brian Kelly.

The Bearcats won the NCAA national championship in basketball in 1961 and 1962, both times against Ohio State. Charles Keating won the 1946 200m butterfly national title for UC as a member of the men's swimming team while Pat Evans (3m Dive - 1989) and Becky Ruehl (10m dive - 1996) have brought home titles for the women's diving team. The UC Dance Team won 3 National Championships from 2004 through 2006. They are the first team in UC history to ever capture three consecutive national titles. They remain one of the top dance programs in the country.

Notable athletics alumni include: Baseball Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Miller Huggins, Basketball Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Jack Twyman, Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin and tennis great Tony Trabert.

In May 2006, Thomas introduced his vision for Bearcat Athletics, aptly titled CATAPULT. Thomas's five-year vision for UC's 18-sport intercollegiate program was launched on the six-month anniversary of his hiring as AD. The plan focuses on three main initiatives: winning BIG EAST team championships, high-level academic achievement, and a comprehensive integration with the Greater Cincinnati Community. This action initiative will track UC's 18 teams towards BIG EAST Championships in every sport within the next five years, encourages continued leadership by UC student-athletes in academics, and stresses community engagement. CATAPULT--an acronym for championships, academics, and together--sets the goal that in the next five years UC will win a BIG EAST championship in every sport; UC's student-athletes will lead the general student body in graduation rate and grade point average; and UC's student-athletes and coaches will engage the Cincinnati community in service.

In December 2007 the football Bearcats were honored by ESPN who wrote that if Academics AND Athletics Achievement were factored in, that the University of Cincinnati would be playing in the BCS Championship game. UC finished the season with a 10-3 record and a #17 national ranking.

During the 2006 Fall Quarter, the first under the CATAPULT plan, UC's sports teams made major improvements in academics, achieving an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.938. Additionally, 11 of the 17 squads posted team GPAs higher than the general UC student body GPA of 2.965.

The Bearcat men's basketball team made the greatest improvement in the classroom, as its 2.875 team GPA a half a grade point better than that of last year's squad for Fall Quarter. Five Bearcats had GPAs of 3.0 or above with two student-athletes making the Dean's List.

The Bearcat women's soccer team also earned a national Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for having a team GPA of at least 3.2 for the 2005-06 school year.

A total of 247 student-athletes from UC's 17 sports were named to either the Bearcat or the Topcat Honor Roll. To qualify for the Bearcat Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have earned a grade point average between 3.0 and 3.49 for the quarter, while Topcat honorees must maintain between a 3.5 and a 4.0 GPA.

The Bearcats are stepping up their levels of performance in BIG EAST competition, as four of the six UC fall sports teams improved their finish in the final conference standings over that of Fall 2005. The Bearcat teams collectively posted an improvement of three places. UC's men's soccer team became the first Bearcat squad to claim a BIG EAST title, winning the Red Division of the league's regular season race.

The athletics facilities at UC include Marge Schott Stadium, Armory Fieldhouse, Fifth Third Arena, Nippert Stadium, Ben and Dee Gettler Soccer Stadium, and Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village.

Besides its varsity sports, the university also has a diverse number of intercollegiate club sports teams, and has recently passed legislation to distinguish some clubs as Club Varsity. Such as the Hockey team which hired former NHL star Blaine Stoughton.

The Student Activities & Leadership Development office oversees over 300 registered student organizations, including over 35 social fraternities and sororities. The student newspaper is The News Record. There is a student-run radio station, Bearcast, and television station, UCast.

UC Housing & Food Services runs two award winning dining centers: Center Court and MarketPointe. Many other eateries are also available on campus.

Two off-campus university-affiliated (but not university-managed) housing options were introduced in 2005: Stratford Heights and University Park Apartments. As of November 2008, all leases in the Stratford Heights housing area have been terminated, and control of the housing complex will revert to University control as dormitory housing in Summer 2009.

On-campus graduate and family housing is available in the Scioto-Morgens Complex, although the residence halls will close in September 2008 for renovations that are planned to be completed by fall 2010. Controversially, the university did not inform current residents about the renovations until after the plans had been finalized, and of particular concern is that the university plans to reopen the halls for undergraduates, displacing the current population of mainly international students, graduate students, families, faculty and staff.

The university has had a strategic plan for the last decade for new architecture to be built by "signature architects." UC itself has an outstanding architecture and design program, and the efforts to have these famous architects design new campus buildings have encouraged students to attend the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).

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Bob Huggins

Bob Huggins.JPG

Bob Huggins (born September 21, 1953 in Morgantown, West Virginia) is the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers men's basketball team. Huggins previously held the head coaching positions at the University of Cincinnati (1989–2005) and Kansas State University (2006–2007). His 616–221 record (.736) during his 25 seasons as a head coach ranks him eighth in winning percentage and seventh in victories among active Division I coaches. He is one of only 4 active Division I coaches with 600 career victories. Huggins has been to 15 total NCAA tournaments, including 14 of the last 15 seasons. Huggins' teams have participated in the postseason 22 of 25 times. Huggins has averaged 23.6 wins per season, including 25.6 his last 15 years.

On April 5, 2007, he accepted an offer to return to coach his alma mater of West Virginia University. After leading the Mountaineers to a Sweet 16 appearance, Huggins signed an 11-year contract with the university after the season ended.

Cut after a 1977 tryout with the Philadelphia 76ers, Huggins subsequently pursued a master's degree.

Huggins launched his coaching career as a graduate assistant on Joedy Gardner's staff at West Virginia University in 1977. He then spent two years as an assistant to Eldon Miller at The Ohio State University. Huggins was only 27 when he became a collegiate head coach, accepting the position at Walsh University in 1980. In three seasons at Walsh, he compiled a 71-26 record, twice earning NAIA District 22 Coach of the Year honors. Huggins directed the 1982–83 team to a perfect 30-0 regular season mark and an eventual 34-1 mark. After serving as an assistant at University of Central Florida for the 1983-84 season, Huggins was named head coach at the University of Akron where he compiled a 97-46 record and reached post-season play in three of his five seasons there including an NCAA bid during the 1985–1986 season. That bid would be the one and only time the Zips have reached the NCAA tournament to this day.

Cincinnati, while having a rich history had fallen under hard times. The once proud program that had been to 5 consecutive Final Fours from 1959 to 1963-- including a pair of national championships in 1961 and 1962--had not been to the NCAA tournament since 1976 when Huggins arrived in 1989. After being relegated to the NIT his first two years, Huggins would take the Bearcats to the Final Four in his third season--the first of 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances.

Huggins compiled a 399–127 record (.759) in his 16 years at Cincinnati, making him the winningest coach in terms of victories and percentage in the school's basketball history. Huggins directed Cincinnati to ten conference regular-season titles and eight league tournament titles. The Bearcats appeared in post-season play in each of Huggins' 16 seasons at U.C., advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament two times in 1993 and 1996 and, in 1991-92, appearing once in the Final Four.

Huggins earned the Ray Meyer Award as the Conference USA Coach of the Year a record three times (1997–98, 1998–99, and 1999–2000), and was a unanimous choice for C-USA Coach of the Decade. He was selected national coach of the year by ESPN.com in 2001–02. His teams won five consecutive conference tournament titles--all four Great Midwest Conference titles from 1992 to 1995 and the first Conference USA tournament in 1996. He was named co-national coach of the year by The Sporting News last season and was Basketball Times' national coach of the year in 1997–98. He earned national coach of the year recognition from Hoop Scoop in 1991–92 and Playboy in 1992–93.

During this time the program also gained a reputation for a rough style of play and academic under-performance. Huggins routinely graduated only 30 percent of his players, compared with half of nonathletes at UC. Several of his players were also arrested and convicted on criminal charges.The program was placed on probation in 1998 for a lack of institutional control.

During his tenure, Huggins coached three consensus All-Americans--Danny Fortson, Kenyon Martin (the consensus player of the year in 1999-2000) and Steve Logan.

He often developed young and inexperienced teams with as many as three freshmen starters into championship squads. For example, Huggins surprised some astute college basketball followers in 1997–98 by directing a team which had only one returning starter to a 27–6 record, conference regular season, and tournament titles, a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and a Top-10 finish in the polls. The team was then upset by West Virginia in the tournament. Huggins' 2001-02 team, unranked when the season began, posted a 31-4 record, setting a school record for wins, made a clean sweep of the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles, and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they lost in double overtime to No 8 seed UCLA. In 2002-03, Huggins suffered a major heart attack on the last Saturday of September, but was present for the team's first practice two weeks later and coached the Bearcats with the same intensity that has become his trademark. Not surprisingly given the season's rocky start, the team qualified for the NCAA tournament only as an 8 seed, and were ousted in the first round by Gonzaga.

The 2003–04 season was business as usual for Huggins, who piloted the Bearcats to regular-season and tournament titles, and an NCAA tournament berth while amassing a 25–7 record. Despite a favorable draw — the team was sent to nearby Columbus for the first two rounds of the tournament — the Bearcats were mauled by the Illinois Fighting Illini, losing by 24 points in the second round. The 2004–05 Bearcats posted a 25–8 ledger, the ninth season in the past ten years that U.C. has won 25 or more games. They received only a 7 seed in the tournament, however, and gave eventual Elite Eight participant Kentucky a spirited game before falling in the second round.

In August 2005, the University of Cincinnati bought out the final three years of his contract in exchange for his resignation. UC President Nancy L. Zimpher gave Huggins an ultimatum—take a $3 million buyout, be reassigned outside the athletic department for the balance of his contract, or be fired. Zimpher said that the Bearcat program under Huggins didn't fit with her plan to upgrade UC's academic reputation. However, she'd been seriously considering ousting Huggins since he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2004. He ultimately pleaded no contest to DUI. The traffic stop was recorded by police and aired on national tv. Huggins was quoted as saying, "Do you know who I am," and "You can't do this to me" to the officers. In the police report a reference was made to the fact Huggins had vomited on his Lexus door. According to the police report, Huggins said he had been with a recruit.

At the time, Huggins' contract had a rollover clause which added a year every summer. Zimpher revoked that clause on June 11, 2004 after his conviction and suspended him for two months. Huggins was allowed to return for the 2004-05 basketball season. On May 11, 2005, he was given the option of leaving or finishing the last two years remaining on his contract. In a May 16, 2005 press conference, Huggins announced that he was staying until his contract expired on June 30, 2007,thus agreeing to the terms offered him by the University.

After publicly agreeing to work with no rollover, Huggins privately changed course. According to an August 23 letter from the University to Huggins attorney, Huggins approached the University "at least four occasions" during the summer of 2005 and asked that the rollover be reinstated.

Huggins did not even find out about Zimpher's mandate until he checked his phone while in Las Vegas, and that he immediately flew home and found that his items at his desk had been taken without his knowledge and shipped back to his house. On August 8, 2005, in written correspondence to Huggins' attorney Richard Katz, the University said, "Because these differences are so fundamental, extending Mr. Huggins' contract beyond its current term does not constitute a viable option for resolving the present situation." On August 15, 2005, a letter to Katz from university legal counsel said, "Suffice it to say that our clients have remarkably different perspectives on the present situation, lending further credence to the notion that it is time for the University and Mr. Huggins to part company," and suggested to Katz that the parties "facilitate this process in as expeditious and professional manner as possible." The August 15 letter summarized by saying, "In sum, UC intends to terminate your client's contract with the University...and to sever its employment relationship him on date certain." On August 19, 2005, Mr. Katz met with the University to discuss the termination of Mr. Huggins' employment and told Katz they would need to hear from him by Wednesday, August 24, 2pm or the University would exercise its right to terminate Mr. Huggins' employment. This ultimatum and a summary of events were reiterated in a letter to Katz on August 23, 2005.

Huggins was replaced by assistant head coach Andy Kennedy, but his dismissal was the hot topic for the entire season. Many players and coaches (including Kennedy) paid homage to Huggins throughout the season.

After spending a year out of the coaching profession, on March 23, 2006, Huggins accepted the head coaching job at Kansas State University , replacing the fired Jim Wooldridge. The Wildcats had not been to the NCAA tournament since the 1996–1997 campaign and had not had a conference record better than 7–9 since the Big 12 was formed in the 1996. The previous three Kansas State basketball coaches (Dana Altman, Tom Asbury, Jim Wooldridge) had combined for a 236–232 record, while in that same period Huggins had gone a remarkable 379–113 at Cincinnati.

From his introductory press conference, Huggins got the momentum in Manhattan rolling with a quote of "Why settle for 2nd when 1st is available?" For the first time in the 13,340 seat Bramlage Coliseum history, all season ticket packages were sold out as season ticket sales went from 6,500 in 2005-2006 to 13,000 for Huggins' inaugural year at Kansas State, and Manhattan's Aggieville district even temporarily changed its name, with banners and the iconic Varney's sign reading "WELCOME TO HUGGIEVILLE".

During his first year at Kansas State, Huggins showed little sign of recruiting difficulty. Huggins molded his staff at Kansas State to help with his first two recruiting classes at Kansas State, and used his year off of college basketball to recruit some of the best prep players in America. Before arriving at Kansas State, many had knowledge that Huggins could possibly bring some of the top college basketball prep stars with him to any school that would hire him. Some names included consensus top 10 players in O. J. Mayo and Bill Walker along with other consensus top 100 recruits such as Herb Pope, Ramar Smith and Jason Bennett. While Mayo, Pope and Smith all ended up landing at other schools, Huggins was able to bring along Bennett for the 2006-2007 season and Walker, who initially was slated to join the team for the 2007-2008 season, managed to graduate from North College Hill High School early to participate in time for the spring semester at Kansas State. Huggins built his assistant coaching staff with recruiting in mind. He hired Brad Underwood, a 1986 Kansas State graduate as Director of Basketball Operations. Underwood's hiring was essential in Landing 4-star shooting guard Blake Young as he was Young's coach at Daytona Beach Community College. Assistant coach Frank Martin was the first assistant coach Huggins hired when he arrived at Kansas State. Martin, a Florida International graduate, and assistant under Huggins when he was at Cincinnati, has played a key part in landing top recruits from Florida. Luis Colon, a 6-10 forward out of Miami, Florida was lured to Kansas State largely on the recruiting efforts of Frank Martin. Huggins' first recruiting class at Kansas State included Bennett, Colon, Young and 5th year senior from St. Johns University, Jermaine Maybank who took advantage of a now-defunct NCAA rule that allowed graduating seniors with eligibility still remaining to transfer to another school with no penalty.

Huggins second recruiting class was even better. The hiring of former Charlotte graduate Dalonte Hill was a key component to landing consensus top 5 player Michael Beasley out of the Washington D.C area. Beasley, a famed Charlotte commit where Hill coached before Huggins hired him, switched his college choice to Kansas State soon after Hill was hired by Bob Huggins. Other recruits in the 2007 recruiting class include Walker, Dominique Sutton, a 6-4 swingman out of Durham North Carolina, Jacob Pullen, a 6-1 point guard from Proviso East High School and Fred Brown, a 6-2 shooting guard from West Palm Beach Florida. The 2007 class was so strong, both recruiting services from rivals.com and scout.com rated it the best in the country.

Huggins's first season at Kansas State was viewed with cautious optimism from the media and fans. Kansas State had returned 4 of their top 5 scorers including 2nd team All-Big 12 member Cartier Martin and Honorable All-Big 12 member David Hoskins. The 2005-2006 team had been involved in many close games, going 7-9 in games decided by 5 points or less during the season. The Wildcats were picked to finish as high as 5th in the Big 12, which showed the confidence Huggins's coaching peers had in his abilities. Prior to that season, Kansas State had never finished higher than 7th place in the Big 12. The early part of the season got off to a rocky start as the Wildcats started the year 4-3 which included embarrassing losses to the New Mexico Lobos and California Golden Bears by a combined 54 points. The Wildcats would benefit from the eligibility of Bill Walker and run off six straight wins including a tournament victory in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. The Wildcats would soon hit another rough patch as they lost three straight games to Xavier, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Even more damaging was the loss of star freshman Bill Walker when he tore his ACL five minutes into a 69-65 loss to Texas A&M. After the Walker injury the Wildcats seniors Martin, Lance Harris, and Akeem Wright stepped up their game and led Kansas State to a 7 game winning streak which included a win over the ranked Texas Longhorns in Austin that broke a 22-game Texas home winning streak. The 2nd half of Big 12 play saw the Wildcats go 4-4 including a pair of losses to its in-state rival the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas State ended the Big 12 season in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament losing to Kansas for a third time, but did pick up a crucial 66-45 win over Texas Tech. Despite this win, the Wildcats were left out of the NCAA tournament for the 11th consecutive year. This streak is the fourth longest among BCS conference schools. Kansas State felt particularly snubbed due to the fact it was the first major-conference team not to make the NCAA tournament after winning 20 games overall and 10 games in conference. The Wildcats settled on a NIT bid and went 1-1 beating Vermont and losing to DePaul. Kansas State ended the season 23-12 (10-6) which was the most victories from a Wildcat team since 1987-1988.

Bob Huggins announced April 5, 2007, that he had accepted the position of head coach at his alma mater, West Virginia University. Huggins former employer Kansas State University offered to match the offer from West Virginia University plus some additional money, but the desire to return to his alma mater won out. The WVU contract has been reported as being valued at five million over five years with an $800,000 base salary in the first year. He has been quoted as saying "There are incredible teams in the Big East and I’m so proud to represent this state and this wonderful University." Coach Huggins succeeded John Beilein who is currently the head coach of the University of Michigan.

Only 9 games into the 2007-2008 season, the Mountaineers entered the AP Top 25 poll carrying a #24 ranking with an 8-1 record. On December 22, 2007 Huggins achieved his 600th victory as a head coach in a road game at Canisius. On January 15, 2008, it was announced that Huggins let West Virginia backup quarterback on the football team, Jarrett Brown, to join the basketball team. Head coach of the football program, Bill Stewart, talked to Huggins and had no problem with Brown joining the basketball team. Terrelle Pryor, the #1 football recruit and a blue chip basketball recruit who was interested in West Virginia under former head football coach Rich Rodriguez, announced he was interested in the school again due to Brown being allowed to play both sports, which he stated he wanted to do at the collegiate level.

The Mountaineers finished the year with an 83-74 overtime victory over St. John's, then opened the Big East Tournament with a 58-53 victory over Providence. In the second round of the tourney, the Mountaineers upset the #15-ranked Connecticut Huskies, 78-72. Joe Alexander contributed with a career-high 34 points and 7 rebounds. The Mountaineers then, however, lost to the #9 Georgetown Hoyas, 55-72, in the tourney semifinals.

The showing by WVU in the Big East tourney propelled them into the West region of the NCAA Tournament as a #7-seed. The Mountaineers defeated Arizona in the first round 75-65 and defeated #2-Seed Duke 73–67 to move into the Sweet Sixteen giving head coach Bob Huggins his first sweet sixteen appearance since 2001 when he coached at Cincinnati. In the Sweet 16 matchup against #3-seed Xavier, the Mountaineers rallied from an 18-point deficit early in the game to tie the game 64-64 and send it into overtime. However, the Xavier Musketeers pulled out the victory, 79–75, with two 3-pointers in the last 1:18 of the ballgame. West Virginia finished the season ranked in the top 25 at #17.

At the end of the season, Huggins signed an 11-year contract extension that would keep him coaching at West Virginia until the age of 65. The contract will pay Huggins $1.5 million a year, as opposed to the $800,000 paid to him in his first season at WVU.

On May 18, before the season even began, Bob Huggins' finished out his recruiting class with the signing of prep star small forward, Devin Ebanks. The #13-ranked prospect was a signer with Indiana before decomitting and looking at Memphis, Texas, Rutgers, and WVU. Ebanks was the last addition to the freshman class that included #11-power forward Kevin Jones, #34-power forward Roscoe Davis, and #26-point guard Darryl Bryant.

West Virginia began the 2008 season projected to finish 9th in the Big East under Huggins. However, they began the season 4-0, led by senior Alex Ruoff, junior Da'Sean Butler, and a freshman class highlighted by Devin Ebanks and Darryl Bryant. They lost the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament Championship Game to Kentucky 54-43, but then bounced back with two wins to move to 6-1. However, they lost a last-second game to #22 Davidson and Stephen Curry in Madison Square Garden, 68-65.

Following the loss, WVU posted five straight victories; ending at the beginning of 2009. This streak included a 76-48 win over #13 Ohio State in Columbus, snapping the Buckeyes' nation-long 14-game win streak and handing OSU their biggest home loss since 1998. However, the streak ended in a 61-55 loss to #5 Connecticut which was followed by a 75-53 loss to #15 Marquette. The Mountaineers bounced back with a three game win streak that included a 75-58 victory over #14 Georgetown in D.C. However, the streak ended in the 79-67 loss to #4 Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl. WVU defeated St. John's, but then lost to #7 Louisville and #20 Syracuse back-to-back. The Mountaineers ended the losing streak with a 86-59 win over Providence, but then lost to #4 Pitt for the second time.

West Virginia followed the loss to Pitt with a 93-72 victory over #13 Villanova, featuring Da'Sean Butler's career-high 43 point performance.

Huggins has been known, at Cincinnati and Kansas State, for his great recruiting programs. He signed three No. 1-rated junior college players and five McDonald’s All-Americans to Cincinnati, while six of his last nine recruiting classes ranked among the nation’s Top 10. His 2007 recruiting class at Kansas State was ranked No. 1 in the country by several outlets, Rivals.com, Scout.com and Sports Illustrated. Scout.com is reporting that Huggins has already succeeded in recruiting 4 of the nation's Top 100 players for the 2008-2009 season.

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New Jersey Nets

New Jersey Nets logo

The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association that plays in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division. They are currently based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and play their home games at the Izod Center. The team is planning to relocate to the Brooklyn borough of New York City, but legal issues have complicated the move.

The franchise was established in 1967 as part of the American Basketball Association, with trucking magnate Arthur Brown as the owner. Brown had operated several AAU teams in are bade and a round New York City, and was viewed as an ideal pick to run the league's New York franchise. The team was originally known as the New York Americans, and Brown intended for it to play at the 69th Regiment Armory on Manhattan's east side, but pressure from the New York Knicks forced the Armory to back out three months before opening day.

Brown found it difficult to find a suitable venue in New York City. Some were booked solid, and others had owners who didn't want to anger the Knicks by opening their doors to a rival team. Scrambling for a venue, the team settled on the Armory in Teaneck, New Jersey, and changed its squad name to the New Jersey Americans, though its franchise name remained the New York Americans.

The Americans did fairly well in their first season, tying the Kentucky Colonels for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Division. However, the Armory was booked, forcing the Americans to scramble for a last-minute replacement.

They found one in the Long Island Arena in Commack, New York. However, when the Americans and Colonels arrived, they found a bizarre scene. The floor had several missing boards and bolts, and was unstable in several areas (one player claimed to have seen one side of the floor come up when he stepped on another). There was no padding on the backboards or basket supports, and one basket appeared to be higher than the other. There was also a large amount of condensation from a hockey game the previous night. After the Colonels refused to play, league commissioner George Mikan forfeited the game to the Colonels.

For the second year, the team opted to stay on Long Island, where it changed its name to the New York Nets. The team was renamed to "Nets" to rhyme with the names of two other professional sports teams that played in the New York metropolitan area at the time: Major League Baseball's New York Mets and the American Football League's New York Jets. "Nets" was also a nickname that related to basketball in general, since it is part of the hoop.

The team finished last in its first New York season and drew a paltry 1,108 a game – about half of what it had drawn a year earlier. They posted a hideous 17—61 record, and shuffled 23 different players on and off the roster. Brown sold the team to clothing manufacturer Roy Boe after that season. Boe got busy right away during the 1969 off season. After failing in their pursuit for UCLA star Lew Alcindor, who was drafted and then signed by the National Basketball Association's Milwaukee Bucks, the team acquired Rick Barry from the Virginia Squires and the Island Garden in West Hempstead became their new home. The Nets finished in third place and in the playoffs in 1969–70, and attendance went up threefold to 3,504. After two years at the Island Garden, the team moved to the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale for the 1971–72 season.

In 1972, two years after the acquisition of Barry, the Nets advanced to the ABA finals. However, they could not overcome the Indiana Pacers and lost the series four games to two. Barry left after that postseason, sending the Nets into rebuilding mode. The 1972–73 season was one of disappointment, as the Nets only won 30 games.

The 1973–74 season saw the Nets finally put all the pieces together. The key event of the season though would come in the 1973 offseason, however, as the Nets acquired Julius Erving from the Virginia Squires. With Erving, who was affectionately known as "Dr. J", the Nets ended the season with a franchise record 55 victories. After Erving was voted the ABA's MVP, the Nets advanced in the playoffs and won their first title, defeating the Utah Stars in the 1974 ABA Finals.

The success continued into the 1974–75 season as they topped the previous season's win record by winning 58 games — a record that still stands to this day. The Nets, though, were eliminated four games to one, by the Spirits of St. Louis in the first round of the 1975 ABA playoffs.

The Nets continued their winning ways in the 1975–76 season — the final season for the ABA, with Erving leading them to a successful 55-win season; he also was named MVP again that year. After a grueling series with the Denver Nuggets, the Nets won the last ABA championship series in league history in six games, giving the Nets their second championship in three years.

The summer of 1976 saw the ABA-NBA merger finally take place. As part of the merger agreement, four teams from the ABA — the Nets, Nuggets, Pacers and San Antonio Spurs — joined the NBA. The Nets and Nuggets had actually applied to join the NBA in 1975, but were turned away. Prior to their first NBA season, the Nets traded two draft picks to the Kansas City Kings for guard Nate Archibald. The Nets appeared to be poised to pick up where they left off in the ABA.

However, they got a rude surprise when the NBA forced them to pay $4.8 million to the Knicks for "invading" the Knicks' NBA territory. Coming on the heels of the $3 million that the team had to pay for joining the NBA, this left Boe short of cash, and he was forced to renege on a promised pay raise for Erving. Erving refused to play for the Nets under these conditions, leaving Boe no choice but to sell Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million. Without Erving, the Nets wrote off the season as a lost cause. However, they lost all semblance of respectability when Archibald broke his foot in January. The team finished at 22—60, the worst record in the league. The team did set one record of sorts; in February 1977, they became the first NBA team ever to have an all-left-handed starting lineup, with Tim Bassett, Al Skinner, Bubbles Hawkins, Dave Wohl, and Kim Hughes.

Prior to the 1977–78 season, Boe moved the franchise back to New Jersey, renaming the team the New Jersey Nets. While the team awaited the completion of a new arena at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, they played four seasons at the Rutgers Athletic Center (later renamed the Louis Brown Athletic Center) on the Kilmer Campus (now "Livingston" Campus) of Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. In 1978, Boe sold the team to a group of seven local businessmen (led by Joe Taub and Alan N. Cohen) who became known as the "Secaucus Seven". The first four years in New Jersey were disappointing, as the Nets suffered through four consecutive losing seasons.

The team moved into the Brendan Byrne Arena (known as the Continental Airlines Arena in 1996, and renamed the Izod Center in October 2007) in 1981 and experienced modest success with four consecutive winning seasons. In 1982–83, while coached by Larry Brown, the Nets were having their best season since joining the NBA. However, Brown accepted the head coaching job at the University of Kansas during the last month of the season and was suspended for the rest of the season. The Nets would never recover from the coaching change and would lose in the first round of the playoffs to their Hudson River rival New York Knicks.

In the 1983–84 season, the Nets fielded what was believed to be their best team since joining the league. Led by Darryl Dawkins, Buck Williams, Otis Birdsong, and Micheal Ray Richardson, the team won their first NBA playoff series, defeating the defending champion 76ers in the first round of the 1984 playoffs before falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals in six games.

Injuries plagued the team during the 1984–85 season, but the Nets still managed to win 42 games before being eliminated from the playoffs by the Detroit Pistons in three games. The Nets would not qualify for the playoffs for the next seven seasons (1991–92) and would not have a winning record for eight (1992—93).

During the early 1990s the Nets began to improve behind a core of young players, as New Jersey drafted Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson and acquired Drazen Petrovic in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite a losing record during the 1991–92 season, the Nets qualified for the playoffs, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, three games to one.

The team improved significantly in 1992–93, led by the trio of Coleman, Petrovic and Anderson, and former head coach, Chuck Daly. However, injuries to both Anderson and Petrovic toward the end of the season sent the team into a 1—10 slump to end the regular season. The Nets finished the season at 43—39 and were seeded sixth in the Eastern Conference and faced the Cavaliers again in the first round. With Anderson recovered from a broken hand and Petrovic playing on an injured knee, the Nets lost a tough five-game series. However, the optimism of a team jelling was destroyed on June 7, when Petrovic was killed in an automobile accident in Germany at the age of 28.

Despite the devastating loss of Petrovic, the Nets managed to win 45 games during the 1993–94 season. Anderson and Coleman made their only All-Star appearances this season. The Nets ended up losing to the New York Knicks the first round of the 1994 NBA Playoffs, three games to one. Daly resigned as head coach after the season and was replaced by Butch Beard.

The team struggled through the rest of the decade. During the mid-1990s the NBA's main image problem was that of the selfish, immature athlete and if one wanted to see a team that embodied that image, all one had to do was look at the Nets. In 1995, Coleman was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the poster child of the selfish NBA player, but with Anderson, Benoit Benjamin, Dwayne Schintzius and Chris Morris also on the roster, there were plenty of candidates for SI to choose from. The team's image was so poor that in an effort to shed its losing image, management considered renaming the team "Swamp Dragons" or the "Fire Dragons" in 1994, but rejected the idea. In both the 1994–95 and 1995–96 seasons, the Nets finished with identical 30—52 records.

In an effort to start anew, Coleman and Anderson were both traded during the 1995–96 season and John Calipari replaced Beard as head coach at the end of the season. Kerry Kittles was selected in the 1996 NBA Draft and midway through the 1996–97 season, the team traded for Sam Cassell. After a 26—56 win-loss season, the Nets made a major draft-day trade in June 1997, acquiring Keith Van Horn, Lucious Harris and two other players for Tim Thomas. The only player from the early 1990s that the Nets retained was Jayson Williams, who was developing into a rebounding specialist.

The 1997–98 season was a lone bright spot for the Nets in the late 1990s. The team played well under Calipari, winning 43 games and qualifying for the playoffs on the last day of the season. Power forward Jayson Williams was selected as a reserve in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game. The Nets were seeded eighth in the Eastern Conference and lost to the Chicago Bulls in the 1998 playoffs in three straight games. The Nets played well and came close to taking the first two games.

The "Secaucus Seven" sold the team in 1998 to local real estate developers, who the next year signed an agreement with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to form YankeeNets, a holding company that would own the two teams along with increasing leverage in future broadcast contracts by negotiating together. After getting offers from numerous broadcast partners, including what was their current rights holder Cablevision, YankeeNets decided to launch a new regional sports television called YES Network.

The 1998–99 season was delayed for three months due to an owners' lockout of the players. When the abbreviated 50-game season began, the Nets were a fashionable choice by experts as a surprise team. However, Cassell was injured in the first game and the team started poorly. With the Nets underachieving at 3–15, the Nets traded Cassell to the Bucks, while the Nets acquired Stephon Marbury from the Minnesota Timberwolves. After two more losses, Calipari was fired as head coach with the team at 3—17. The team never recovered from its poor start to finish at 16–34. With the Nets already eliminated from playoff contention in April, Marbury collided with Williams in a game against the Atlanta Hawks — Williams broke his tibia and would never play in the NBA again.

From 1990 to 1997 the Nets played on a parquet-designed floor similar to the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic and the Minnesota Timberwolves during their home games at the Continental Airlines Arena.

In 2000, the Nets hired as the team president Rod Thorn, a longtime NBA executive best known for drafting Michael Jordan while he was the Bulls' general manager. Immediately, he began to assemble the components of the most talented team since the ABA champions of the mid-1970s. He started by hiring Byron Scott as coach. With the first pick in the 2000 Draft, the Nets selected Kenyon Martin from the University of Cincinnati. Stephon Marbury & Keith Van Horn had become a stars in New Jersey. Marbury made the All-NBA 3rd Team in 2000 and his very first All-Star Game in 2001. But despite his individual efforts, constant injuries hindered the team's chemistry & the Nets failed to the playoffs in each of Marbury seasons as a starter. On the night of the 2001 Draft, they traded the rights to their first round selection (Eddie Griffin) to the Houston Rockets for Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong, and selected Brian Scalabrine in the second round. The trade was widely considered a smart move by the Nets as they needed to get younger and clear out much of the dead weight that was on the bench, as the Nets had the lowest scoring and oldest bench in the league.

Just one day after the 2001 Draft, Jones made his boldest move. He traded all-star Marbury & role player Johnny Newman to the Phoenix Suns for All-Star/All-NBA point guard Jason Kidd and center Chris Dudley (who the Nets later released). The move gave the team something it had been lacking for practically its entire NBA existence, a floor leader who also made his teammates better. The Nets also signed former 76ers center Todd MacCulloch, who at the time was considered to be a rising center in the league. That season, the Nets had their best season in their NBA history & in the process became one of the most exciting teams in the league. The team won its first Atlantic Division title, finishing the regular season at 52–30 and were seeded first in Eastern Conference and faced Indiana in the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs.

After losing the first game at home, the Nets then went on to win the next two games, before losing game four on the road. In front of a sellout crowd, the Nets played one of the more memorable games in NBA Playoff history in game five. The Nets led by nine points with five minutes remaining in regulation, however Reggie Miller made a 35-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. After Miller sent the game into double-overtime with a driving dunk, the Nets pulled away for a 120–109 victory. It is the only game in NBA history to end every quarter—the first quarter, first half, third quarter, second half, and first overtime—tied.

In the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, they defeated the Charlotte Hornets four games to one to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time facing the Boston Celtics. This series is remembered for Kidd having his left eye swollen shut diving for a loose ball in game, he received 32 stitches. After winning game one versus the Celtics, the Nets lost game two at home. In game three, the Nets led by 21 points going into the final period, but a tremendous Celtic comeback gave the Celtics a 94–90 victory and a 2–1 series lead. In game four played on Memorial Day afternoon in Boston, the Nets led most of the way but once again the Celtics found a way to tie the game with a minute remaining. However, in this game the Nets made enough plays at the end of the game to win it — Harris made two free throws with 6.6 seconds left and when Paul Pierce missed two free throws that would have tied the game with 1 second left, the series was tied at two games each. In game five, the Nets went on a 20–1 run early in the fourth period to coast to a 103–92 victory and a 3–2 lead in the series. In game 6, the Nets trailed by 10 at halftime, but rallied in the second half to take the lead. Van Horn's three pointer off a Kittles pass with 50 seconds left in the game clinched the Nets their first Eastern Conference Championship, four games to two.

In the 2002 NBA Finals, the Nets were swept by Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. New Jersey was the third straight victim to fall to the L.A. dynasty, who had dominated both Indiana and Philadelphia. Kidd and company were just too inexperienced and ill-equipped to deal with the Lakers.

Before the 2002–03 season, the Nets traded Van Horn and MacCulloch to obtain Dikembe Mutombo from the 76ers. The move to improve the team did not work out as Mutombo sat out most of the season with a wrist injury, but received little time in the playoffs due to differences with coach Byron Scott. Despite Mutombo's absence, the Nets finished with a 49–33 record and repeated as Atlantic Division champs. Kidd in the process had his best season ever & contributions from Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson, & Sixth Man of The Year Runner-Up Lucious Harris soften the load. In the 2003 NBA Playoffs, the Nets won their second consecutive Eastern Conference championship. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs four games to two, then swept the Celtics and Detroit Pistons in consecutive series to advance to the 2003 NBA Finals, this time facing the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. They split the first four games in the series. At the same time, the Nets' home court hosted the New Jersey Devils third Stanley Cup celebration in 9 years, following their 3-0 win over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. However the Nets played erratically in a Game 5 loss at home to go down in the series three games to two. In Game 6, the Nets led the Spurs by 10 points on the road with 10 minutes remaining, but the Spurs went on a 19–0 run to take the title in six games. The loss in Game 6 meant New Jersey was denied from having both an NBA and an NHL title in the same year. Nonetheless, the Nets run through the Finals, coupled with the Devils winning the Stanley Cup, made the run part of a great chapter in New Jersey sports history.

Following the 2003 Finals, Kidd became a free agent and the Spurs pursued signing him away from the Nets. However, Kidd re-signed with the Nets, stating that he had "unfinished business" in New Jersey. Another factor in Kidd's decision was the signing of free-agent Alonzo Mourning. But Mourning's tenure with the Nets would be disastrous, as he missed most of the 2003–04 season due to a kidney ailment.

During the 2003–04 season, New Jersey performed poorly early in the season, and in late December head coach Byron Scott was fired. Lawrence Frank became the interim head coach on January 26, 2004, succeeding Scott, after serving as an assistant coach with the team since the 2000–01 season.

However, the Nets rebounded from this early season lull, and again won the Atlantic Division title, and swept their crosstown rival Knicks in the first round. However, their run of conference championships was halted in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals by the eventual NBA champion Detroit Pistons. After the teams split the first four games, each one large routs at home, the Nets took Game 5 in Detroit in triple-overtime, only to fall short in Game 6 in New Jersey. The Pistons won Game 7 in a rout and took the series 4 games to 3. Jason Kidd, playing on an injured knee that eventually required surgery after the season, was held scoreless in Game 7.

After the season, The Nets were forced to revamp the team. They traded Kerry Kittles and Kenyon Martin, to the Clippers and Nuggets respectively & released Rodney Rogers & long time Net Lucious Harris, because new owner Bruce Ratner was unwilling to pay the remainder of their contracts. They received only draft picks in return for two key players in the team's recent success. Unbeknownst to New Jersey however, was the fact that Kittles went under the knife for the fifth time to correct his knee, and Martin would need microfracture surgery in both knees. The 2004–05 season looked gloomy at first for the Nets. Their star Kidd was recovering from his own microfracture surgery and the young Richard Jefferson was handed the reins for New Jersey. The team got off to a 2–11 start, and even with Jason Kidd returning from injury, the outlook was bleak. However, the Nets made a major deal by obtaining disgruntled star Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Mourning, who was released by the Raptors (and subsequently rejoined the Miami Heat), Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and draft picks. Mourning himself had become disgruntled, saying the Nets "betrayed" him and that New Jersey's progress to that point was not what he "signed up for". This move made the Nets major players again, as they featured one of the top 1-2-3's in the league with Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson respectively. However, it was short lived, as Jefferson was injured in a game against the Detroit Pistons, and would require season ending surgery.

However, this would not doom the Nets entirely. Teamed with Kidd, a rejuvenated Vince Carter rallied the team from being more than 10 games out of the playoffs to gain the final seed in the Eastern Conference with a win in the last game of the season. However, the Nets could not overcome O'Neal again even with Jefferson back from his injury and were swept by the Heat in the First Round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs.

During the offseason of 2005, the Nets actively pursued a starting-quality power forward through free agency. They had drafted Antoine Wright, a 6' 7" swingman because all the talented power forwards were taken in the draft, and still needed to fill the void left by Kenyon Martin.

Eventually settling on Shareef Abdur-Rahim, they actively courted him and gained his approval even though they could only offer him the mid-level exception. In order to get him a larger, more lucrative contract, the Nets pursued a sign-and-trade with Portland. There, negotiations hit a snag because Portland demanded a first-round draft pick, which the Nets adamantly refused to part with. Eventually, the Nets agreed to give Portland a protected first-round pick and their trade exception acquired from the Kerry Kittles trade. This allowed the Nets to keep their mid-level exception for signing other players. However, Thorn decided to void the Abdur-Rahim trade when he failed his physical examination because of a pre-existing knee injury. Abdur-Rahim would vehemently deny any injury and said he felt like "damaged goods". He would need surgery at the end of the '07 season. To fill Abdur-Rahim's slot on the roster, the Nets acquired Marc Jackson from the Sixers.

They used part of the remaining mid-level exception to re-sign Clifford Robinson for two years in response to Brian Scalabrine's departure. A back-up to Kidd was also sought and they actively courted free agents such as Keyon Dooling before turning their attention to talented, but aggravating (at times) Jeff McInnis, whom they eventually signed and was a non-factor in the Nets Season due to injury and eventually was traded.

The Nets started the 2005–06 season slowly, struggling to a 9–12 record in their first 21 games. However, behind strong play by Carter, Kidd & Jefferson the team won their next 10 games (their final 8 games in December and first two games in January) to surge to top of the division. After the winning streak, the Nets returned to their earlier mediocre play (winning only 13 of their next 29 games), but starting on March 12 the Nets won their next 14 games in a row — the longest winning streak in the NBA this season and matching the franchise record set in 2004. The streak ended on April 8, 2006 when the Nets loss to the Cavaliers 108–102 at home. They set a team record with 20 road victories this season.

The Nets finished the 2005–06 regular season with a 49–33 record. They clinched their 4th Atlantic Division championship in the last five seasons and the 3rd seed the Eastern Conference playoffs, playing the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. It seemed they had returned to their elite status of a few years back. They defeated the Pacers and advanced to the second round where they played the Heat, in a rematch of 2005's first round Eastern Conference loss. On May 16, 2006, the Nets lost the best-of-seven series 4–1 to the Heat. Nets fans were left to wonder what might have been as Cliff Robinson, one of the team's key defenders against Shaq, was suspended following Game 1 of that series for failing a drug test.

Highlights of the season include the naming of Vince Carter to the All-Star Team in 2006. Originally named as a reserve, an injury to Jermaine O'Neal elevated Carter to a starting position. Kidd, meanwhile, was named to the NBA All-Defensive team at the end of the season.

The 2006–07 NBA season fared poorly for the Nets but finished on a bright note, as they suffered a barrage of injuries starting in the preseason to mid December. Many experts predicted they would win the Atlantic easily (Charles Barkley went as far as to say the Nets would win the Eastern Conference), but the season did not turn out as hoped. The Nets finished the regular season at .500 (41–41) and lost the Atlantic Division title to the surprising Toronto Raptors. The early-season loss of Nenad Krstić to a freak knee injury and the two-month absence of Richard Jefferson caused by an ankle injury caused the Nets to stumble mid-season. However, Jefferson went back into action on March 9 against Houston and helped the Nets regain a winning momentum, allowing them to win 10 of their last 13 games. Among the highlights of the regular season were the naming of Kidd and Carter to the '07 East All-Star team and Kidd's selection to the 2007 All-Defensive 2nd Team. New Jersey finished with the 6th seed in the East and faced the 3rd seeded Toronto Raptors, feeding their newly developed rivalry. The Nets beat the Raptors in six games thanks in part to the fourth quarter heroics of Richard Jefferson on both ends of the floor lifting them to a one-point victory. Many sportswriters viewed picked the Nets to beat Cleveland, and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Their playoff run ended, however, in the following round as they fell to LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers 4–2 in the best-of-seven series. Since their runs at the NBA title, New Jersey has been eliminated by three of the last four Eastern Conference champs, two of whom went on to win the title. In the 2007 NBA Draft, the Nets used the 17th pick to pick "troubled" Boston College player Sean Williams.

For the 2007–2008 season, many were excited for the upcoming season, but it resulted in what many Nets fans considered the most disappointing season of the decade. Early injuries to Vince Carter and Nenad Krstić disrupted the Nets season from the get-go. With little bright notes, the season was a complete mess: a 9-game losing streak for the Nets, the Jason Kidd "headache", trading their franchise player, and not making it to the post season for the first time in 7 years. However, there were a few bright notes, like young guys Josh Boone and Sean Williams becoming major contributors and Marcus Williams showing progress. Richard Jefferson ranked in top 10 scoring leaders of the season, at #9. And Vince Carter emerged as the leader of the Nets and was one of only 3 players (Kobe Bryant and Lebron James the other 2) to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists a game. The popular assumption is that with an off-season together they will be back in the post season, but team president Rod Thorn has already promised changes would be made, and Coach Lawrence Frank vowed that as long as he's at the helm "A season like this will never happen again".

The following offseason proved to be very busy for the Nets as well. On June 26, 2008, Richard Jefferson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. Jefferson's departure, along with that of Jason Kidd earlier that year, marked the beginning of a new era in the Garden State. On the 2008 NBA Draft night, with the 10th pick the Nets selected Stanford center Brook Lopez. With the 21st pick the Nets selected the UC Berkeley forward Ryan Anderson. With the 40th pick the team selected Chris Douglas-Roberts, out of the University of Memphis. On July 2, the Nets signed draftees Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson. On July 9, they signed remaining draftee Chris Douglas-Roberts.. The Nets filled out their now youthful roster by signing veterans Eduardo Najera & Jarvis Hayes, & trading for fiery Orlando point guard Keyon Dooling, a player they coveted for years. The Nets started off the 2008-2009 season on a positive note, but with the sprained ankle injury to point guard Devin Harris, they lost 3 straight games to the Pacers and to Miami. Upon his return, the Nets went on to win against the Atlanta Hawks twice, the 2nd team in the Eastern Conference with a 7-1 record. After splitting the next four games, Harris then led his team to a three game road winning streak, beating the Sacramento Kings in overtime, thrashing the Utah Jazz, and capping off the trip with a win against the Phoenix Suns. Harris has guided the Nets to a 9-7 record while averaging 25.3 points per game (fourth in the league) and has made himself a leading candidate for the NBA Most Improved Player Award. The Nets finished the first half of their season 19-22. The Nets are tied for 10th place with the New York Knicks.

In 2004, after failing to secure a deal for a new arena in Newark, New Jersey, YankeeNets sold the franchise to a group headed by real estate developer Bruce Ratner for $300 million, beating out a group led by Charles Kushner and Jon Corzine. While Kushner and Corzine wanted to keep the Nets in New Jersey, Ratner planned to move the team back to New York. In 2005 the Nets announced plans to locate the team in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. One of the members of the ownership group is rap mogul and Brooklyn native Jay-Z. The team would be renamed Brooklyn Nets (current working title), "New York Nets," or have a new name attached to its Brooklyn location.

The Barclays Center is the center of an extensive redevelopment project called the Atlantic Yards being built by Ratner's real estate development company. The site of the arena is nearby to the site that Walter O'Malley wanted to use for a new stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1950s. The plan was rejected and resulted in the team's relocation to Los Angeles in 1958. The Nets would be the first major professional sports team to play their games in Brooklyn since the departure of the Dodgers. The arena is in the final planning stages. The Nets originally planned to move across the Hudson River for the beginning of the 2009–10 season. However, on January 3, 2008 the team announced that it would not start to play at the Barclays Center until 2010 at the earliest. It is unknown whether the team will move during the middle of the 2009–10 season or wait for the beginning of the next season (2010–11). In September 2006, the team and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority announced an extension of their lease to keep the team in the Meadowlands until 2013, with a provision to leave as early as 2009 if the Brooklyn arena is completed.

In December 2008, construction on the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, which would include the Nets’ $950 million Barclays Center, was scheduled to go forward, according to a Forest City Enterprises executive. Forest City chief executive Charles Ratner said the developers could afford to delay construction of the project in 2009 if the economy continued to struggle. If the Nets achieve their revised goal of a 2011 move to Brooklyn, arena construction likely would have to start by sometime in the spring of 2009, assuming a court battle over environmental review of the site has concluded.

The television home of the Nets is currently the YES Network, which the Nets joined after the merger of the operations of the Yankees and Nets (under the corporation banner YankeeNets). The Nets have stayed on YES despite the dissolution of YankeeNets and Bruce Ratner's purchase of the team. Prior to that the Nets' TV home was Fox Sports Net New York and SportsChannel New York.

The team's local broadcast partner is WWOR-TV, and games have aired on WLNY in the past as well.

The current flagship radio station of the Nets is WFAN, who took over the radio rights to the Nets after losing their basketball contract with the Knicks (who moved to WEPN). Prior to that, Nets games aired on WNEW-AM, WQEW, and WOR.

Marv Albert and Ian Eagle share television duties for the Nets (Albert calls a majority of the games; Eagle subs when Albert is not available due to other commitments). Chris Carrino is the radio voice for the Nets. Mike Fratello and Jim Spanarkel also share the YES color analyst duties (Fratello on the majority of the games; Spanarkel on games when Fratello is on TNT), with Tim Capstraw providing analysis on the radio.

Other broadcasters who have worked for the Nets include Howard David, Bob Papa, Bill Raftery, Kelly Tripucka, Albert King, Mike O'Koren, WFAN update man John Minko and Mark Jackson.

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Kenyon Martin

Kenyon Lee Martin (born December 30, 1977, in Saginaw, Michigan) is an American professional basketball player. Nicknamed "K-Mart," he currently plays power forward for the Denver Nuggets of the NBA.

Martin was a talented and extremely boisterous player in college, playing for the Cincinnati Bearcats under the direction of Bob Huggins. As a senior, he averaged 18.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. He was the consensus National Player of the Year, earning numerous awards from various organizations, but suffered a broken leg in the Conference USA Tournament, keeping him out of the NCAA Tournament that year. Cincinnati retired his #4 jersey on April 25, 2000. Later that year, he was selected first overall in the 2000 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. Martin is currently the last American-born college senior to have been the top overall pick; the top picks since him consist of three high school players (Kwame Brown, LeBron James and Dwight Howard), one international player with two years of U.S. college experience (Andrew Bogut), two international players with no American college experience (Yao Ming and Andrea Bargnani) and two college freshman (Greg Oden and Derrick Rose). Kenyon graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice.

As a rookie for the New Jersey Nets, Martin moved from center to power forward and averaged 12 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. In his second season, Martin averaged 14.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game in helping the Nets rise from last place in the Atlantic Division to an Eastern Conference title and the best season to date in the Nets' NBA history. Along with Nets stars Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson, Martin led the Nets to the 2002 NBA Finals, where they were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers. In his third season Martin again helped his team into the NBA Finals, where the Nets lost in six games against the San Antonio Spurs. The next year, Martin averaged 16.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks en route to his first NBA All-Star selection, as a backup forward for the Eastern Conference All-Stars. In the 2004 NBA All-Star Game, Martin scored 17 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and had 3 assists. Martin and teammate Alonzo Mourning almost fought when Martin mocked Mourning's life-threatening kidney disease. Martin later admitted that he had made a mistake and apologized to Mourning. He received a taste of his own medicine when then Knicks forward Tim Thomas remarked on Martin's speech impediment and eye twitching tic, as well as calling Martin a "fugazi".

At the end of the 2003-04 NBA season, Martin was traded to the Denver Nuggets for three future 1st round draft picks in a sign-and-trade deal.

Martin had microfracture surgery on his right knee and missed all but two games of the 2006-07 NBA season. He was on the opening day roster of the 2007-08 NBA season and changed his uniform number from 6 to the number 4, which he wore in college.

During the third-quarter of a 2006 game against the Chicago Bulls, a fan sitting two rows behind Martin yelled at him, "Suit up, you chump," referring to the fact Martin was in the midst of one of his various stints on the injured reserve and in street clothes behind the Nuggets bench. All accounts indicate that the fan did not use any profanities. At that point, Martin is said to have stood up, pointed at the heckler, and then motioned to one of his 'bodyguards' to go confront the heckling fan, ordering "shut him up". His friend then stood up and yelled at the heckler, "Shut your mouth before we take you outside and beat your (expletive)!." He also apparently screamed at a Nuggets fan named Don Miller--who, along with his teenage son, happened to be sitting next to the heckler--calling him a "fat (expletive) white boy." Martin was subsequently fined $15,000.

On February 11, 2006, after a Denver win over the Dallas Mavericks, a volatile Martin was involved in a heated and profanity-laced locker room exchange with a local reporter.

On January 1, 2007, Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was murdered after attending a birthday party held for and by Martin. The Hummer limo Williams rode in was riddled with bullets. The shooting was preceded by some type of altercation or argument at the nightclub between Crips gang members (some of whom were attending the party) and a cousin of Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. A police spokesman said, "There was some confrontation between a group of people in the vehicle and a group at the nightclub." Williams was not involved in the altercation.

Martin's 2008 bash was held at an incident-free "secure" mansion in Miami, complete with an extensive guest list, red carpets, ice sculptures and exotic dancers.

Martin is the half-brother on his mother's side of former-Colorado Buffaloes standout guard Richard Roby. He is also the cousin of Robert "50" Martin of AND1 Mixtape Tour fame. Martin has suffered from a stuttering problem his entire life.

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Robert "50" Martin

Robert Martin (born 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia) and alumni of High Point University also known as 50, is an American street basketball player who has played on the AND1 Mixtape Tour and is currently a member of the Ball4Real tour. 50 is 6'8 and weighs 210 pounds and is known best for his slam dunks. He was given the nickname '50' because of the height of his vertical jump. Robert's cousin is Kenyon Martin of the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

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Source : Wikipedia